The Association for Science Education

ASE Chair

ASE Chair: Dr Chris Harrison

Chair of the Association, assessment for learning guru and co-author of “Working inside the Black Box” - Chris Harrison. Chris writes about her experience as an ASE member and what she intends to do in her role as Chair of the Association for Science Education.

"I have been a member of ASE since the Annual Meeting in Exeter, some 35 years ago and am delighted to take the role of Chair this year...While we have had changes, the principles that ASE values remain the same and these centre around providing first class science education throughout all educational sectors in the UK."  

"I have worked in most sectors of education, starting as a science teacher in several London schools, taking on Head of Science responsibility and then working freelance as a consultant and professional development provider for a few years. In 1993, I joined King’s College, London and began my research career, first with CASE (Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education) with Philip Adey and then AfL (Assessment for Learning) with Paul Black.  My heart is still In the classroom and my current research is focused on the assessment of science inquiry, where I have two EU funded projects working with some amazing teachers at KS2-4.

ASE has fought many battles over the last year and strongly represented the membership on issues such as the assessment of practical work and we need to sustain this pressure to ensure that we can provide the type of science experience for our young people that will allow them to develop sufficient scientific literacy to function in the 21st century.

"With my background, you will not be surprised to know that I have a strong belief in research-informed practice and that I see the professional learning of teachers as a priority. ASE has played an important part in my professional life and provided me with so many opportunities throughout my career. I have taken part in some excellent workshops and heard some inspirational keynotes at both the Annual and Regional Conferences. I have also had some thought-provoking and challenging discussions face-to-face and electronically, which have both informed and shaped my ideas. This year alone, I have listened to the Lead Inspector for Science in OfSTED, cutting edge research scientists, world class science education researchers, innovative science advisors, specialists from the exam boards and many enthusiastic  science teachers – all eager to help science  education in the UK get even better and all of this under the umbrella of ASE.

"My vision this year for ASE is to support and strengthen Assembly, as this group is at the heart of what we do. Regions, committees and specialist groups in ASE all feed into Assembly and we need to draw on this expertise and innovative ideas. So the priority is to ensure these groups work together more, to improve communication...This is especially important in the current educational climate with the new National Curriculum imminent, changes at GCSE coming in over the next 12 months and the continued diversification of routes into teaching. ASE has fought many battles over the last year and strongly represented the membership on issues such as the assessment of practical work and we need to sustain this pressure to ensure that we can provide the type of science experience for our young people that will allow them to develop sufficient scientific literacy to function in the 21st century."

About Chris Harrison

Chris taught in and around London for 13 years before she began consultancy/research work and joined King's in 1993 to run their Biology PGCE course. Since then she has been involved in teacher training, professional development, curriculum development and research. Starting from a background in thinking skills in science, from the Cognitive Acceleration in Science Education (CASE) project, Chris began looking at classroom assessment and did her PhD on teacher assessment practices in lower school science classrooms. She joined forces with Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam to do the first large empirical study of Assessment for Learning in 6 schools in Oxfordshire and Medway - the KMOFAP study. Since then she has run many research projects in this area and supported national and international projects in taking formative assessment ideas forward. She has written science textbooks, books and chapters based on her research and many articles and chapters. Chris is also known for her keynotes and workshops where she brings together the ideas of research with the reality of the classroom and regulalrly does sessions at the Annual and Regional Conferences. She has served as editor of Science Teacher Education and been a member of publications committee and Council, as well as being Chair of London Region from 2012-2014.

Chris Harrison, Chair of the Association 2014-2015.

Extract from EiS September 2014